The Fresno County Sheriff’s Workplace (FCSO) is reporting that regional farmers attempting to legally develop industrial hemp are becoming targeted by thieves who appear to assume that the plants are marijuana.
According to FCSO, there has been an raise in reports of hemp theft, with 3 incidents occurring inside the previous two weeks.
“To the naked eye, it is tricky to distinguish a hemp plant from a marijuana plant,” says FCSO Public Details Officer Tony Botti. “Not only do they appear the very same in each the juvenile and adult stages, they smell the very same and have flowering buds. It is most likely these are the motives the Fresno County Sheriff’s Workplace has been not too long ago getting an improved quantity of reports for hemp thefts.”
At about 7:30 p.m. on September 27, deputies have been dispatched to a place close to the intersection of E. American Avenue and S. Leonard Avenue in Del Rey exactly where the home owner had approached a couple of people today who have been loading hemp into their automobile
1 of the suspects pointed a firearm at the home owner just before driving away.
Deputies have been unable to find the suspects following browsing the location.
On October four at about 7:00 p.m., a group of 15 to 20 people today, with one particular in possession of a firearm, arrived at the very same home to steal plants.
The group was in a position to flee the scene just before deputies arrived.
At about 7:00 p.m. on October 7, deputies apprehended two guys attempting to steal hemp plants from a field on S. Willow Avenue close to E. Mountain View Avenue in Selma.
Deputies identified the suspects, 39-year-old Frank Carillo of Fresno and 51-year-old Abraham Garza of Fresno, in possession of about 25 plants which have been valued at $five,00.
Each suspects have been booked into Fresno County jail on felony charges of grand theft.
Garza also faces a misdemeanor methamphetamine possession charge.
Even though hemp farmers are expected by the Division of Agriculture to post suitable signage on their properties, some have opted to place up No Trespassing indicators or notices that state that hemp plants with no THC are becoming grown in the fields and not marijuana.